One of the highlights of our time to Italy was a visit to Harry’s Bar in Florence. It is famous! Harry’s opened in 1953 and was inspired by the Harry’s in Venice. Giuseppe Cipriani, patron of the already famous Harry’s Bar in Venice, gave them some suggestions: the Cuisine – the gratin noodles, the carpaccio, the shrimp curry, the tartare, the flambéed crepes Grand Marnier, the American Bar – the Bellini, the Martini, the Negroni.
This was my second visit to the institution and we stopped in for lunch on a Sunday without a reservation. Sorry, the dining room is all reserved but you are most welcome at the bar. Perfect! That’s where I wanted to sit anyway. It’s a small bar with only about 8 stools. Once perched we met the new bartender( the many decades old bartender has retired). The new young guy was friendly, charming and superbly efficient. Amazing to watch. Not only could he mix fabulous cocktails, we watched him prepare an order of Steak Tatare table side with precise skill and showmanship.
We ordered drinks to start and Sheila chose a Vodka Martini (2 olives please). A Negroni was the right choice for me. Delicious to be sure.
Our bartender recommended the Chicken Club Sandwich which we shared along with a small Chicken salad. One order of fries but No ketchup here. Lemony Mayonnaise is the routine here. So good.
The sandwich, no crusts on this very thin toast was, perhaps, the best we’ve ever had. Simply wonderful.
Not only was our bartender entertaining but a family group of 8 stood near us at the bar enjoying a pre lunch libation. Italians are amazing. They all talk all the time and at the same time. Not sure If they listen but the dialogue amongst this group was worthy of a blog on its own.
Sitting on the bar near us was a photo of Elizabeth Taylor, one of many famous patrons of Harry’s.
This bar has it all. History, great drinks, superb service, fabulous food and excellent people watching.
Going to Florence? Check out Harry’s. It’s just two blocks from Ponte Vecchio on the river.